Summer Term 2014: “Savor each moment with every last ounce of energy we have”

We are into our second week of classes here at HMI, and it couldn’t be going any better! Science, Practices & Principles: Ethics of the Natural World (P&P), and Humanities have all been distinctive and entertaining, as well as extremely informative. In Science, we have been venturing outside the classroom in order to record data about two separate bodies of water near Leadville. Some of the data we have collected thus far includes dissolved oxygen, pH, and the types of organisms living in the water, which helps us to learn more about human impact on the natural environment. In Humanities, we have been learning all about the history of Leadville by taking a field trip to the mining museum in town and creating songs about local issues. In P&P, we have taken personality tests, read interesting articles, and had an open discussion about ethics, which got everybody’s brains working hard. We’re all looking forward to continue doing our intellectual weightlifting (the affectionate term for our academic work at HMI) this last week before second expedition!

This week on campus, the entire Summer Term 2014 group participated in a multitude of exciting adventures in addition to our classes. A day at HMI is packed with enough activities to last at least an entire week at home.  We have gone bowling (dressed in full 80’s garb), rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, hosted a talent show, and watched the final World Cup match! As a whole group we went rafting on the Arkansas River on Saturday and hit up to Class 4 rapids! In rock climbing, we went to cliffs right next to Turquoise Lake and conquered the formidable rock face (and some conquered their fear of heights). For our fly fishing trips we went to Diamond Lake, Timberline Lake, and Busk Creek and some even caught fish before releasing them from our de-barbed hooks. For the talent show, we gathered in Who’s Hall (our dining hall) for many laughs, claps, and encores as students shared their unique talents. Finally, we all watched the battle between Germany and Argentina on Sunday for the 2014 World Cup Title. Face paint, posters, and little rivalries all made it one great event!

Every one of these activities has been incredible, but many of us find that we have the most fun during the little moments: Sitting around a table in Who’s Hall playing Apples to Apples, talking to our cabin mates at night, having spontaneous dance parties, playing knockout, playing soccer, and simply sitting outside during meals with a breathtaking view of Mount Massive as we eat delicious food in the company of friends. These are the moments that are really shaping our time here at HMI, and these are the moments we will take with us when the time comes for us to go home. During these moments, it would be absolutely impossible for anyone to catch us without a smile on our faces. The community we are building here has an energy that cannot be quantified by any number or explained by any combination of words. The positivity of the people here is infectious, and it is clear we are part of something special. A particularly transcendent moment occurred during the talent show Saturday night. People were able to let their inhibitions go, with acts like dancing and screaming with to Lizzie McGuire’s “What Dreams Are Made Of.” We felt so energized and ecstatic, so comfortable and at home. These four emotions characterize HMI. We are so looking forward to the next three weeks we get to spend with our new friends and with this place, and will savor each moment with every last ounce of energy we have.

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